Where oh where can my Joba be?
August 20, 2009 6 Comments
Ever since entering the league in late 2007, Joba Chamberlain was taking names and kicking ass. That is, until, 2009. So what happened?
Throughout his first two seasons (124 innings) Joba had rate stats of 11.03 K/9, 3.27 BB.9, 3.78 K/BB, and 0.44 HR/9. Moreover his FIP for 2007 and 2008 was 1.82 and 2.65; his tRA for 2007 and 2008 was 2.23 and 2.60. However, as everyone knows he split time between RP and SP. Before he got hurt his RP/SP splits in 2008 were…
RP: 23.7 IP, 2.28 ERA, 2.61 FIP, 11.4 K/9, 4.2 BB/9, 2.72 K/BB
SP: 60.6 IP, 2.23 ERA, 2.59 FIP, 10.2 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 3.0 K/BB
Amazingly, he was performing better in a starting role last season, albeit a small sample size for both splits.
This year, to be blunt, he has sucked. His line is…
126 IP, 4.74 FIP, 5.68 tRA, 7.74 K/9, 4.41 BB/9, 1.76 K/BB, 1.14 HR/9.
Ouch. His K’s are way down, while his BB and HR are way up. That is not a recipe to success.
Looking at his BIP, he isn’t a dramatically different pitcher. His GB% is 44.4, and for his career it is 46.7%. His FB% is low at 34.3%. Yet his HR/FB is 12.7%. High considering his low FB%, but its not drastically higher than his career HR/FB. Also, a lot of the HR are due to NYS. His HR/9 at home is 1.77 compared to 0.90 on the road.
The big concern is his high BB rate and low K rate (for him at least). What is causing this? My belief is his FB.
His velocity is way down this season. Among SP last season, his FB velocity was tied for first with Ubaldo Jiminez at 94.9 mph. This year he is down to 92.5 mph. The consequence is that his once feared FB is now feasted upon. In 2007 and 2008 he was 3.2 RAA and 8.6 RAA respectively. This year he is -12.0 RAA his FB. Although his slider has remained a great pitch for him, his FB has become his downfall.
Considering he’s been healthy this season, this leads to me to believe he has been inconsistent in regards to mechanics. Within games, he’ll go back and forth between 95 mph FB and 90 mph FB.
Once he straightens out his mechanics, Joba will be back to kicking ass.